Earthquake Magic

Earthquake Magic

by Amelia G : July 29th, 2008

Chino Hills EarthquakeAlthough I have lived in California now for longer than I have lived anywhere else, I am not originally from here. Earthquakes still seem like magic to me. Like an amusement park ride or some other thing where what you feel is interesting but without consequences. When some of the East Coast portions of my family first started going West, my maternal grandmother was certain every New Yorker who defected to California was going to fall into a crevasse and die. Eight feet of snow, she felt safe in. But earthquakes seemed horrific beyond all measure.

Native Californian Forrest Black tells me that a 6.0 earthquake is when buildings start falling down. The earthquake I just experienced was, at most recent estimate, a 5.8 in Chino Hills. That places the epicenter at around twenty some odd miles from where I am in Hollywood. This quake was so strong that, according to my twitter friends and my pals on the internet professional forums, the shaking was felt as far away as Las Vegas.

My mother was stationed in Israel during the Lebanon War. Then too, I had Stateside friends and family who thought it must be terrifying and dangerous to live in a warring part of the world. At the time, my only awareness that anything unusual was going on was that I had to set bric-a-brac away from the edge of countertops or it could be knocked off by the sonic booms of war planes flying overhead. I never saw an injured person or an explosion.

In much the same way, I have never seen the earth in California open up and start swallowing humans or their homes. I have never seen anything more than a crack in plaster, items . . .

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